Lives of Thai people in Vilnius
Vilnius is one of the loveliest cities to visit in Europe. It is also a mini-hub of multi-culturalism, hosting visitors and residents from near and very far away. A small group of Thai residents call this beautiful Northern European city home, a great example of some of the city’s more exotic inhabitants.
They come to work in Vilnius for cultural specific jobs for which there are not enough qualified locals. Culturally specific jobs include, but are not limited to, chefs of eastern cuisine and therapists of Thai massage and reflexology. Although Thai massage and reflexology is considered alternative medicine in the west, it is mostly considered mainstream traditional medicine in Thailand. These jobs are highly valued in western countries with increasing needs for related services.
Toto, who works as a therapist in ReflexPoint Thai Massage Centre in Vilnius shares three main shocks for Thai people when they start living in Vilnius. Those three being: the food, weather and difference in modesty of people.
In Thailand there is more variety of fresh fruits and vegetables compared to Lithuania. Toto points to the fact that it is very hard for them to find affordably priced fresh fruits and vegetables in a wide range. Thai people are conservative in terms of food and they are not often open to new tastes and experiences, so this can be quite a challenge.
In regards to the weather, it is not too difficult to understand Toto. Vilnius doesn't have as many warm days as Thailand, which is the most popular destination for holidays because of its pleasant weather all year.
As for the people, 'smiling, that is a standard of daily life in Thailand. This is diametrically opposed to the residents of Vilnius, which seem to rarely smile, even when engaged in dialogue with someone they've just met. In Thailand, this behaviour would be out of the ordinary, possibly even considered rude.
Toto concludes," its ok though, we understand these are cultural differences, and leave it at that."
Toto works as a therapist for a Thai massage and reflexology-(foot massage) centre named ReflexPoint, a company specializing in Thai therapies for fourteen years now, serving its customers in Vilnius, since 2014
Read more here about Thai massage and reflexology.